CABSAT 2015: UAE strides ahead in MENA TV everywhere

DetailsEditor | 10 March 2015

Easy availability of high speed broadband and large numbers of users, especially millennials, given to spending on premium services has taken the UAE to a commanding lead in TV everywhere in the MENA region.

Addressing CABSAT 2015, Vida Nath, research director, Digital Media Practice, Frost & Sullivan (F&S), painted the MENA region as one of many contrasts and challenges, making it very difficult to make generalisations. However the research firm has produced an index for TV everywhere in a place where free-to-air (FTA) services currently dominate and look likely to keep their grip for a considerable time. F&S regards TV everywhere as an eventuality in the MENA region even if broadcasters and services providers are currently struggling with their business strategies.

Yet F&S believes that the growing demands of young populations and multinational expat communities in the MENA region will drive the growth of TV everywhere content and services by 2020 at least. In addition it sees social media as a key catalyst for TV everywhere growth as the high regional use of Facebook and Twitter and similar products have allowed news-hungry audiences to cut through censorship. This will almost certainly provide opportunities for content owners in particular. The analyst regards local social media use as ubiquitous, enabled by the proliferation of mobile devices.

In its index plotting online video usage against average broadband speed F&S predicts that the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia will be the growth engines for regional TV everywhere over the next five years. Yet the analyst also notes that the Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia are markets that will present opportunities to explore.